$$$ & Sense

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Michelle Diane

Is a lifelong student whose passion is sharing all she's been blessed to learn. Diane holds A.A.s in Theology & Business, a B.A. in INTS with minors in sociology & psychology as well as a Ph.D. in Creative Survival Techniques from Hard Knocks U. 

Diane began as a reporter/editor for the Denver Weekly News, went on to publish Not Ur Momma's News and is a veteran Business expert for Demand Media. 

The gifted writer is also skilled in business development whose Mastermind groups, e-Courses and one-on-one Leadership Mentoring has helped solopreneuers & direct marketers expand their visions & businesses for nearly a decade. 

Diane regularly works with organizations from rape crisis centers to the Urban League Guild to increase educational & economic opportunities in marginalized populations. Well known for her social commentary, she is currently researching the correlations between 18th and 21st century economics and their social-psychological effects on the middle class. 

What are you celebrating this Independence Day?

by Michelle Diane on 07/02/14

Wassup esemplastic thinkers? That would be you if you’re seeking and implementing creative ways to bridge the gap between your vision and your circumstances and isn’t that the thread of common ground that runs between us all? Entrepreneurs and activists, parents, teachers and ministers even trolls, aren’t we all looking for ways to propel our efforts to the next level and manifest our dreams?

Independence Day is Friday and Americans will be celebrating freedom coast to coast, but what about you? What will YOU be celebrating? Are you free? What does that word even mean? Does it encapsulate the wonders of a creative and independent lifestyle, one that allows you to give the best of yourself and receive fair reward for your efforts or is it symbolic of the chasm between your dreams and your reality?

For those of you living the miracle of a creative and independent lifestyle, please pass this on to your friends and loved ones who are not, light the grill, chill the beer; get the party started and don’t forget to save me a plate!

I want to talk to those who are experiencing freedom as a dream lingering just outside your grasp. I’ve gotta tell you, no matter who you are or what your current circumstances, your dreams are well within your reach. But you don’t believe that, huh?

So, you probably don’t believe you have the gifts, talent and knowledge it takes to be who you dream of being either, right? What do you tell yourself, that you’re too old, young, uneducated, busy, inept or afraid? Do you tell yourself that dreams come true are reserved for the lucky few, which doesn’t include you? Could it be your thoughts are digging the chasm separating your dreams and your circumstances? I think it was Henry Ford who said, “Whether a man believes he can or believes he can’t, he’s right,” while the tycoon’s relationship to freedom can only be described as dubious, in those few words he delivered the key to independence to all who would use it ~ believe.

You know where this is going and this will make the 999th time you’ve been directed to change what you believe, right? You already know that if you want something different, you’ve got to do something different and you’ve likely tried to change by force of will many times. But the self-limiting tapes nag away in your head and after a while, you’re right back where you started. Everybody is screaming change, but what the heck do you do if you don’t know how? Do you wish somebody would just give you a plan to shut up tapes and shift your belief system into manifestation?

It’s simple; turn off the tapes. Wait, before you throw bricks at me, I said simple not easy. This is how you do it. Start paying attention to what you are saying to yourself on those self-defeating tapes and then fight back! That doesn’t mean assess whether those undermining statements are true; assume they are NOT. And it definitely DOES NOT mean wander down memory lane rehashing all the reasons the tapes might be right; again, they are NOT. Every time you hit yourself with a negative thought, you must cancel and rebalance it with the truth. To do that you must know the truth. This Independence Day free yourself from those lies.

·         Find a quiet corner and make a list of everything you know how to do ~ everything. Examine every area of your life including the seemingly little things like cleaning house or juggling carpools. Consider all the skills, people and otherwise, you’ve had to learn to do your job, run your family and participate in your community.

·         Read over your list a time or two then consider how those skills and talents benefit the people you interact with everyday. How do your gifts, talents and efforts add value to your family, employer and community? Write it all down; leave out nothing.

·         Examine your lists carefully and use them to write at least ten affirming sentences about you. For instance, did you discover that you are a good encourager? One of your sentences might be, “I bring value to my family etc. by providing them with the emotional and intellectual support they need to meet their goals.” These are the weapons of your warfare.

·         Every time a negative message creeps into your thoughts, kill and bury it. Kill it out by repeating one of those empowering sentences you wrote twice, once to cancel it and once for balance, then create a positive imbalance by repeating that empowering sentence once more. Begin consciously evicting those tapes from your head.

·         Remember I said simple not easy. This is where the real work begins; while I highly encourage you to use this holiday weekend to begin your battle, I must warn you it is not a short-term fight. You’ll need your resolve and your courage; this war is not for the faint of heart. This plan works, but not over night. There are likely years of damage in the wake of those self-defeating tapes; measure the investment required to overcome them by how long they’ve been ringing in your thoughts. You must wield your weapons, those empowering sentences, aggressively and consistently; let no negative thought or utterance stand and believe the victory is yours.

Need more help? Download your free copy of Start Your Business Today here. And …

Happy Independence Day!

Esemplastic: The tag word of 21st century business

by Michelle Diane on 06/23/14

Esemplastic ~ that’s a big word that most can’t define and many think is made up. So, what the heck does it mean and how can it be the tag word of 21st century business?

Es-em-plas-tic: adjective ~ having the ability to shape diverse elements or concepts into a unified whole: the esemplastic power of a great mind to simplify the difficult. (Random House, 2014) Isn’t shaping diversity into unity a primary challenge, perhaps the primary challenge, for modern businesses and isn’t it a dilemma that affects every facet of operations from policy to personnel? How do you reconcile differing ethnic styles and standards with your company’s traditionally professional image? Or the differences that often crop-up between departments like marketing and communications?

Helen Dunne of CorpsComm magazine asks this question in “Can Marketing and Communications ever live in harmony?” Her first three paragraphs define the issues; she writes,

‘The trouble with marketing and communications is that it is a little like Americans and the British,’ comments one director of communications at a FTSE 100 organization. ‘They are separated by a common language.’

It is a view shared by many communications professionals. They see the role of a marketer as nebulous, worrying about branding, taglines, and ‘fluffy stuff,’ while their work is more hard-hitting, defending corporate reputations against a 24/7 barrage of media, stakeholder, and government scrutiny.

Marketers, on the other hand, often find it hard to grasp the necessity for corporate communicators and PR teams. After all, their objectives are clearly defined; they are there to lift sales, boost bookings, or drive traffic to websites, generating a real return on their investments. To them, PR represents a huge cost – often carved from their budgets – with a seemingly impossible-to-calculate return.

According to Dunne, these departments use the same words to speak different languages and do not value each other’s efforts and contributions. Let’s examine how an esemplastic approach can help bridge the chasm. Both departments are solely focused on the company’s reputation, which makes it (reputation) an excellent foundation for establishing common ground. If we expand the definition to encompass both perspectives, perhaps something like: Reputation is the public reflection of our company culture and values, which must be both communicated and protected. The marketing communications team is responsible for increasing market share and insulating that growth against outside onslaught. We have eliminated the language barrier and merged the goals of both departments by providing a framework in which they can easily see/appreciate the other’s value and become mutually supportive.  

So, yes Ms. Dunne, marketing and communications can live in harmony with a bit of esemplastic strategy. If you are struggling to establish harmony between diverse concepts, perspectives and/or goals, you too need Esemplastisitee.  

And We're Off!

by Michelle Diane on 06/12/14

Welcome to the inaugural $$$ & Sense. My intent is to provide you with tips, tools and opportunities you can use today to start, build or enhance your business efforts and the encouragement to shine a little light on the dark days. But you need to know upfront, I can’t do it without you; I need your input, insights and inquiries to drive this blog in fulfilling its purpose of serving you. Please visit and comment often.

 I want to tell you a quick story about a man I met along the way. He’d lost his job and in his frustration allowed his unemployment to run out. He had a wife and family to provide for and was in complete panic. He also had an IT degree and several years experience. Together, we created a business plan, marketing plan, name, logo and webpage; the only upfront expense he incurred was the $1.08 it cost to print 100 4x5 fliers, which he passed out in grocery store parking lots. It took about 40 hours to package his computer repair business and he made nearly $500 in his first full week. This man took his world to the brink of collapse because he overlooked what he had in his hand and devalued his most vibrant gifts and talents.

Have you done the same thing? I know I have. Do you dream about your own business but are convinced you lack the resources to make your vision reality? Are you convinced that there is no market value in the thing you love to do? Or maybe you’re currently stuck between believing in your dream and having the confidence and/or tools to manifest it? Be encouraged. You too can start your business today without one thin dime; the SYBT eBook provides you a step-by-step guide to building your confidence and your business. It works if you work it and, of course, it’s free. Download your copy and get started manifesting your vision NOW!

One of the biggest challenges new solopreneurs face is branding themselves as an expert in their chosen enterprise. Press recognition is a powerful tool for establishing your expertise. I can hear you saying, “Yeah, okay, but how does that help me; reporters aren’t exactly pounding down my door?” No, they’re not, but there is an amazing free service called Help a Reporter Out (HARO) that gives you three opportunities daily to pitch yourself as the expert source for writers in your industry. Reporters post their needs and deadlines; you tell them why you’re the expert they need. Investing five minutes, three times a day, scanning HARO’s emails can pay big dividends in name and expertise recognition. Check HARO out here.

I hope this has been helpful to you; if so, please take a minute to tell me that. I need encouragement too. If you received no benefit, please make me better by letting me know where I missed the mark. And please, if you have questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to share; you’ll help us all grow. I’m out y’all ~ Peace, Power and Prosperity!

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Here it's ALL about YOUR MONEY. How to make more of it and how to make what you have serve you better. Of course, I'll share my knowledge, but more I'll share the knowledge of the hundreds of solo & entrepreneurs I know as well as the best information I can glean from the web.

I know you'll find lots of tips & hints you can use immediately to manifest your dreams. I also know YOU have a wealth of amazing ideas and tips of your own; so please stop by often and share your wisdom with us.

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